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Tsering Yangzom Lama

Tsering Yangzom Lama is a Tibetan writer who was born and raised in Nepal and now lives in Vancouver. Lama earned a BA in creative writing and international relations from the University of British Columbia and an MFA from Columbia University. Lama is a co-founder of LhakarDiaries, a leading English-language blog among Tibetan youth in exile.


We Measure the Earth with Our Bodies: A Novel

Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 2022.
on order

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

In the wake of China’s invasion of Tibet throughout the 1950s, Lhamo and her sister, Tenkyi, arrive at a refugee camp on the border of Nepal, having survived the dangerous journey across the Himalayas into exile when so many others did not. As Lhamo—haunted by the loss of her homeland and her mother, the village oracle—tries to rebuild a life amid a shattered community, hope arrives in the form of a young man named Samphel and his uncle, who brings with him the ancient statue of the Nameless Saint, a relic long rumoured to vanish and reappear in times of need.

Decades later, the sisters are separated, and Tenkyi is living with Lhamo’s daughter, Dolma, in Toronto’s Parkdale neighbourhood. While Tenkyi works as a cleaner and struggles with traumatic memories, Dolma vies for a place as a scholar of Tibetan Studies. But when Dolma comes across the Nameless Saint in a collector’s vault, she must decide what she is willing to do for her community, even if it means risking her dreams.

Breathtaking in scope and powerfully intimate, We Measure the Earth with Our Bodies is a gorgeously written meditation on colonization, displacement, and the lengths we’ll go to remain connected to our families and ancestral lands. Told through the lives of four people over fifty years, this beautifully lyrical debut novel provides a nuanced portrait of the world of Tibetan exiles.

Awards and Honours

2022 Scotiabank Giller Prize (Finalist)
2023 Kobo Emerging Writer Prize-Literary Fiction (Finalist)


Tsering Yangzom Lama personal website

Publisher Penguin Random House Canada, owner of the McClelland & Stewart Imprint

Author Profile by David Chau in Quill & Quire website, posted 18 May 2022